Maple-Gingerbread Layer Cake with Salted Maple Caramel Sauce
A tender gingerbread spice cake is infused with maple flavor in the form of the maple caramel sauce and maple pecans, and covered in a brown sugar frosting.
Yield: A 9-inch double layer cake
For the maple-coated pecans
  • ¾ cup pecan halves, toasted
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
For the salted maple caramel sauce
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup maple sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ⅛ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • ⅛ tsp maple extract
For the cake
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 2 oz finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • ⅔ cup molasses
For the frosting
  • 1 cup chilled creme fraiche
  • 1¼ cup chilled heavy cream
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp confectioner's sugar
  1. To make the pecans, combine the nuts and maple syrup in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Stirring constantly, cook until the syrup starts to thicken and is almost cooked away, about 3 minutes. Scrape nuts onto a sheet of parchment paper and separate them so they are not touching. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Let cool for 1 hour.
  2. For the caramel, melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the sugar until it melts and starts to boil, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add the cream. Bring back to a boil and then allow it to thicken enough to coat a spoon and reduce in volume to a cup, whisking frequently, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the salt and maple extract. Set aside.
  3. For the cake, preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, Chinese five spice, baking soda, salt, and crystallized ginger.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  6. Mix together the hot water and molasses in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture in four additions, interspersing it with the water/molasses mix. Mix together until just combined. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack.
  7. To make the frosting, combine the creme fraiche, heavy cream, and sugars in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer until stiff peaks form.
  8. To assemble the cake, place one layer top down on a platter. Spread with 1 cup of the frosting. Drizzle 3 tbsp of the caramel over it.
  9. Invert the second layer from it's pan and place it, top-down, on the first layer. Cover the tops and sides with the remaining frosting and drizzle with 3 tbsp of the caramel sauce. Decorate the sides with the pecans. Chill if not serving immediately.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice
Recipe by Joanne Eats Well With Others at